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Dale Musser receives Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award

Dale Musser, assistant professor and director of the College of Engineering’s information technology program, is engaging his students with technology – and getting recognition for it.

Musser received the 2009-10 University of Missouri Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award for undergraduate teaching. Since 2001 the MU Provost’s Office has been recognizing professors, teaching assistants, staff members and faculty who use educational technology to improve teaching and learning at MU. Computer Science Chair Dong Xu nominated Musser for incorporating technology in multiple ways.

Musser came to MU in 1994 as an instructional technology faculty member for the College of Education and has been director of the undergraduate IT science since 2008.

In addition to assisting with the iPhone and iLife competitions, sponsored by MU’s Reynolds Journalism Institute, Musser designed a web application for students to learn about the iLife competition and has developed courses stemming from the iPhone challenge. He also uses technology and various programs in the classroom daily for his design and development course that focuses on the creation of web applications.

Another project on his technological resume is his recent development of a central facility for the creation of digital instructional materials by faculty and instructors in the College of Engineering. Musser plans to use the $500 that came with the recognition – earmarked for technology teaching-related expenses – to this nearly finished project.

Musser describes instructional technologies as useful in two main ways – to support distant learning in which teachers do not have the ability to meet with the student and also on campus to provide the most engaging resources for learning.

“We have to figure out what is the best use of time and resources to maximize a student’s ability to learn,” Musser said. “Instead of standing and talking to a huge lecture hall you can create digital materials, such as videos and interactive content, that students can access outside of the classroom and then use class time to be a mentor, solve problems and provide feedback to students.”

“If I use technology to move things normally inside to outside the classroom then I create a better experience for the students,” Musser said.

He predicts a rapid change in the use of technological materials for education.

“We are in the Wright brothers stage of technology, where we have these amazing tools and are transitioning to figure their uses. It is essential that we continue to contemplate, implement and instruct with technology,” Musser said.